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Each year, the U.S. alone burns or disposes of 200 million tons of ‘waste straw,’ producing massive amounts of carbon dioxide. Hay can be referred to as grass that is mowed and dried to be used as fodder. – Hay is often the combination of several grasses and grains like alfalfa, brome, and timothy; clover and rye are often components. 15 Popular Types of Grapes – Complete Guide 2020, Provides a complete diet for horses and livestock, Can provide forage for non-grazing animals, Can accumulate rot and fungus if not adequately dried, Multiple uses in construction and crafting, Lacks dietary nutrients required by horses and livestock, Has to be replaced often if used as animal bedding, Loose straw becomes a hiding place for rodents. If weeds sprouted she just piled on more hay to smother them. Here’s a taste: Is a straw bale house more energy efficient? There are four types of hay: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume), and cereal grain straw. Studies at Pennsylvania State University have demonstrated that feeding concentrates to young milk fed calves stimulates papillae development compared to calves fed just milk and hay. They have to be completely dry, because moisture in straw creates heat, and that heat can combust under pressure. Straw and hay are often times confused. Here are the pros and cons of using straw: When it comes to diversifying to several uses, buy straw. Straw. The difference between a hay mulch and a straw mulch is that hay can decompose faster than straw because it has more moisture content. Hay tends to have weed seeds in it, I’ve used hay a few times to suppress weeds only to have grass seeds sprout making it worse for weeds than before! Mullins FarmsValley Springs, California Phone: (925) 963-2857 - Fax: (925) 226-3150 Have A Farming Question? Abstract. Comfort: – Straw is lighter and less dense then hay, providing better shock absorption for the hooves and joints of animals. Because hay is used has a food source for animals, it is considered a primary crop. Straw, on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried … on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 at 7:43 PM and is filed under Misc.. The walls of houses or buildings can be insulated with bales of straw – a natural product that is relatively cheap to use!! Different types of grass used for hay include ryegrass, timothy, brome, fescue, Bermuda, and orchard grass. In theory that sounds like a great plan. Straw is also a regional product. Dangers of Using Hay or Straw in the Garden Conventional farmers use herbicides to reduce weed growth in their fields. Bale homes built in the 1800’s till exist in Nebraska and Europe. Here in the Midwest, we … Farmers separate the cereal grains from these crops for human consumption, and they dry the stems to produce straw. Producing hay is as tedious as producing grain cereals. 1. Straw is considered a secondary crop since they are comprised of the remnants of a crop and are not intended to serve as food. Straw vs Hay: What is Straw? Hay is a crop that is grown and harvested as … How does building with straw bales help our environment? _Other gardeners open the bales of hay and let their chickens have at the seed, then use the hay for mulch after that. For example, hay is a feed, while straw is a byproduct, and although both can be used for bedding, straw is the better choice. Straw has also become popular as a building material. – The moisture of hay makes it an unsuitable choice for mulch and composting. Both comments and pings are currently closed. Straw does not constitute a balanced diet for livestock, which is why hay is the better option. Be aware that they are both very carbon heavy and need nitrogen to break down. Hay is derived from the Old English word, heg. If you have plans to own a horse or take care of livestock and poultry, knowing the difference between hay and straw is very important. Origin: – Straw is made from the leftover shafts of grains like rye, oats, and wheat, after the seed heads have been cut off. Effect of feeding meadow hay or winter barley straw on the performance of artificially reared dairy-bred beef calves to 12 weeks. Apart from these, good-quality hay also has legumes, sometimes alfalfa or clover, which are usually cut before blooming. • Usually Straw is … Hay is a good quality animal feed for horses, donkeys, mules, and livestock, especially during the winter months when they cannot graze for pastures. Still confused? eHow has information on the Difference Between Hay and Straw and Which Is Best for Bedding, so be sure to check that out. Feed your livestock straw as part of their diet during winter to help them survive the cold. 2. A key difference. Straw is primarily livestock bedding. After cutting, hay material is allowed to dry to reduce the bulk of its moisture content down to 20 percent. Hay, on the other hand, is grass that has been grown, then mown and dried. Hay is used to feed farm animals. In fact, even those from the rural areas didn’t always know the difference between hay vs straw. Click HERE for The Difference Between Hay Bales and Straw Bales, from Andrew Morison. Hay is basically a plant-product preserved to become animal feed. Straw is used for baskets etc. Straw, on the other hand, will take more moisture out of the soil before it decomposes. This entry was posted The easiest way to tell the difference between straw and hay is the price: hay generally costs two or three times more than straw. Nutrition: – Straw has little nutritional value and most animals don’t care to eat it. Whatever! To summarize the differences between hay and straw, we have compiled a list of pros and cons of using each. The time it took to plant, harvest, and prepare hay bales dictates how and why its prices are higher than straw. When baled, straw is generally lighter than hay due to the lower moisture content. Hay bales are usually greener than straw bales, the plant material finer. I honestly thought the words were interchangeable. They might look similar, but did you know that hay is different from straw? It’s important to know these differences before working with straw and hay, so here’s a little help. Harvesting: – With straw, the grain is harvested first, with the straw stalk baled later. A bale of hay and a bale of straw may look similar and may be found together in the same places, but they are very different. Size and Weight: – Straw and hay bales come in a variety of sizes and weights. Hay vs Straw: Both hay and straw have special uses in homesteading. Straw has very little nutritional value for animals, or for your garden. What is the difference between Straw and Hay? Email Us! Hay’s natural moisture content is significantly higher than straw, though they are both dry to the touch. Straw is the more common choice, but hay can be used if needed. Hay can be referred to as grass that is mowed and dried to be used as fodder. When you go to the feed store to buy hay, notice how greener it is than straw and how the hay bale has seed heads and leaves included. • Straw is the dried stalks of cereals while hay is the dried grasses and legumes. Hay vs Straw: Both hay and straw have special uses in homesteading. Straw bale homes provide superior sound absorption compared with conventional houses. • Hay can be used to feed animals where straw has many other purposes. Hay is not as versatile as straw. Hay and straw seem very similar on the surface, but they are actually quite different; each one ideal for its own thing. Straw is drier, harder, and less changing than hay. Color: – Straw should be yellow or golden grain shafts. – Hay, on the other hand, is high in vitamin and mineral content and is a choice food item for animals. Mattress manufacturers still use straw as filling materials for mattresses. ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) Hay. That’s it! We prefer to use straw (vs hay) as bedding material for all of our animals. Hay producers include leaves and seed heads with the plant stems to complete the nutritional requirements to feed livestock. How durable is a home made out of straw? Straw is the dried stalks of grains left over after a farmer combines the field to harvest wheat, oats, barley, or rye. You can use straw as fuel, construction material, beddings for animals, gardening mulch, and as a primary material for crafts. – Hay is cut when it reaches the desired height, is allowed to dry slightly, then is baled. – Straw has little nutritional value and most animals don’t care to eat it. ~ Straw is considered an organic mulch along with grass clippings, pine needles and shredded compost, leaves and wood products. Straw also has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a compost pile to an energy source. Hay is a crop that is grown specifically for the purpose of creating hay, while straw is a byproduct of different kinds of crops. Difference Between Hay and Straw and Which Is Best for Bedding, FAQs about building a home with straw bales HERE, HERE for The Difference Between Hay Bales and Straw Bales, Canepa & Sons, Inc Well Drilling Covering All Of California, The Best Manual Healthy Juicers From Lexen Products – GREAT For Wheatgrass. Straw is leftover resource that is utilized rather than be wasted, whereas hay is specifically grown for its use. Hay is made from dried plants like legumes and grass, whereas straw is made from leftover stalks of grain crops. They also deserve to have their straw beddings often replaced to keep them warm, clean, and away from diseases. Straw as we speak of it is from the wheat plant … The only takeaway is farmers do not remove the leaves and seeds from the stems. We talk a little bit about the difference between Hay and Straw. Hay Vs. Straw is a byproduct of cereal crops, mostly rice, wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Straw, on the other hand, is a waste product of agriculture with a lot of uses. Hay is legumes such as alfalfa and clover or grasses such as timothy, oat, fescue and bermuda. They will tie-up the nitrogen in your soil, depriving your garden for up to three years after incorporation (tilling). 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